VIJAYAWADA: It was a moment that 101-year-old Malla Veerayya would cherish. Staying in an old age home for the past one decade, Veerayya was never so happy. Standing on top of the chart in the 100-metre running race outdoing nine others, Veerayya’s happiness knew no bounds and he was elated.
“This is a moment which made me forget all my struggles in the past,” the centenarian said, after winning the running race at the sports meet organised by the Vayo Vrudha Charitable Trust in the city on Sunday on the occasion of International Day for Older Persons (October 1).
Veerayya was one among the 15 centenarians, who were felicitated by Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao at the programme organised by the trust as part of the International Day for Older person celebrations.
“Almost 30 years ago, I lost my wife and child. I worked as a daily labourer in agriculture fields in Krishna and Guntur districts. With age becoming a factor, no one was ready to provide me with work. With no option left, I took shelter at Amma Nanna Old Age Home at Kethanakonda. I have been staying there for the past one decade,’’ he said, adding that sheer motivation and healthy food habits made him survive these many long years.
Another centenarian V Seetha Mahalakshmi participated in the musical chairs competition and stood second. She maintained that positive thinking helped her forget her pains and struggles.
“I was ill-treated and abandoned by my children once they got what they needed from me. I have been staying at Amma Old Age Home at Kesarapalli. I have nothing to look forward to. Participation in these kinds of events will provide me with some sort of relief from all the misery,’’ she said, adding that her children visit her at the old age home occasionally.
J Nagamma (102) has a similar tale. “My family members ill-treated me and I had to take shelter in an old age home,’’ she said. Still visibly active, Nagamma was seen posing energetically to photographers at the felicitation function.
People aged between 60 and 80 years residing in various old age homes in Krishna and Guntur districts also participated in the event.
“For the last 150 weeks, the Vayo Vrudha Charitable Trust has been extending necessary support to the elderly people staying in old age homes by providing them essential commodities,” said its chairman Challa Hari Kumar.
Apart from giving support, medical camps are also being conducted at regular intervals for the inmates of old age homes, who were rejected by their family members, Hari Kumar added.
Centenarians feted at the event organised by the Vayo Vrudha Charitable Trust included Malla Veerayya (101 years), R Satyanarayana (101), P Venkayya (101), V Seetha Mahalakshmi (100), K Lakshmi Kanthamma (100), J Jammaiyamma (103), Sk Hussainebe (102), J Nagamma (102),G Pitchaiah (102), T Punyavathi (101), J Krishna Murthy (100), M Subba Rao (103), Tirupathamma (104), Ravuri Arjuna Rao (102) and Manorama (102).